Written by Sara Zavernik
The world’s population is growing. Along with the growing population (unfortunately) comes a growing demand for resources, which are limited. The extraction and use of the latter have a major impact on the environment, which is relevant for understanding the concept of a circular economy. However, in order to better understand the circular economy itself, it is necessary to define the phenomenon of the linear economy.
The linear economy is based on a take-make-consume-dispose pattern and refers to large quantities of cheaper and more accessible raw materials as well as energy, while at the same time being responsible for increasing waste and putting pressure on the environment.
At this point, we can return to the circular economy, where production and consumption are based on sharing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. The positive feature of this concept is that it extends the lifetime of products and reduces waste – which is the key to solving the original problem: the increased need for raw materials. Therefore, when a product reaches the end of its life cycle, the materials from which it is made are retained as much as possible and continue to ‘circulate’ in the economy. They can then be used repeatedly, creating additional value and justifying the term ‘circular economy’.
There are already several examples of good practices in Slovenia that confirm the functionality of the circular economy. Companies, such as Circular change, Donar Chair, Evergreen, AquafilSlo, and others, prove that there is a possibility of good and successful management also in a sustainable or circular way.